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    October 28, 2013
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media operated in great britain. >> absolutely. >> thanks for watching. today on around the world, you're viewers here in the u.s. and internationally too. >> good to have you back. >> the i desk is up for international viewers. for the viewers in the u.s., "cnn newsroom." >> thanks for watching. >> see you tomorrow. right now, the fallout from the latest revelations on nsa surveilance and what the president knew about the active operations. we're waiting to hear more at the white house briefing about to boo gin. also, right now, the obama care website is down at least across parts of the united states again. we're going to have the details of the problems affecting health care gov and a preview ahead of what could be a tough week for the obama administration. >> right now the ellis island museum is opening once again, seeing its first visitors since it was damaged by hurricane sandy last year.
hello, i'm wolf blitzer reporting today from washington. we start with the fallout over the latest revelations about spying at the nsa and tapping of world leaders' phones. the big question people are asking now is, what did the president know and when did he know it. i'm joined by chief national security kurt correspondent jim sciutto who has been covering the story. crux of the controversy is what. >> well, the crux right now is what did the preds know and when. there's some conflicting information out there. a german newspaper reporting he knew in detailed form in 2010 about this spying going up to and including angela merkel's cell phone. this is something the white house and nsa deny. "wall street journal" reports the president was only made aware of this last summer. conflicting at this point. neither answers is satisfying because either he didn't have enough oversight or he hasn't been entirely forthcoming. demands for more information.
some of these things are so sensitive, he can't go into full detail. >> there's a review under way right now. we expect other potentially controversial details to emerge. >> no question. they a real worry now particularly for relationships sensitive intelligence sharing relationships with the u.s. we share intelligence with the germans, french and so on. these relationships in south asia, in the middle east, more difficult countries for which a revelation they're cooperating on a country like iran could be damaging for them and u.s. relationships with them. >> in germany, this is especially sensitive because of east germany and the way it was ruled during the communist era. this is such a sensitive issue for the chancellor angela merkel. >> the eu has sent an intelligence delegation to the hill. i met with them on capitol hill a few minutes ago. they had a meeting with mike rogers and said it was a very candid and direct frank meeting.
that they have serious concerns that they expressed to the u.s. and to mike rogers on the hill and that they still are demanding answers. they are at least talking. one thing he was able to tell tell them was this gathering of phone call information in france and spain, 60 million phone calls in spain, that was metadata. it was not the contents of phone calls. they're beginning to exchange information about the true extent of this surveilance. >> one of the arguments i've heard and i'm sure u.s. officials are making this privately to their counterparts from the european delegations coming here, the u.s. has so much more of a sophisticated capability. the u.s. can find things out that their intelligence agencies can't find out in the end this will help prevent terrorist operations whether in spain or germany or france or other friendly countries. >> that's exactly the argument that people like mike rogers are making to the europeans. i spoke to a member of the delegation from london and he said listen, we face terror
attacks, as well. so they know that argument. they're amenable to that argument, but still they want more details, how high it goes. does it go up to the prime minister and crucially they want to know why, what was the value achieved from that. >> jim, thanks very much. the system is down at the moment. we are experiencing technical difficulties. that's the message many of you might be getting trying to apply for health coverage on the obama care website. a new technical malfunction has shut down the application tool for some on elizabeth cohen joins us now with the latest information. what's the current problem right now? at least for parts of the country, the system still remains down. is that right? >> it's really spotty. many people have not been able to log on. i logged in this morning wise and it worked. several colleagues could not log in and got this message. the system is down at the moment. we seem to have a new culprit. a subsidiary of verizon had a
network failure that affected other sites, as well. so this seems to be a new new glitch we're looking at. >> is there a time frame when this current problem will be fixed and what the obama administration is advising people to do during these crucial hours? >> i'm going to quote a press release from the department of health and human services. they said we'll get this fixed as soon as possible. which doesn't sound promising. in the meantime, you can get on the phone. the operators answer calls quickly. you can go in person to many sites around the country. you can also try snail mail. i'll tell you, these processes may not be that fast. and you may not be able to do it completely over the phone. i know you can't do it completely over the phone. some of it has to be done in some other way. there are other ways other things you can do to get the process going. >> i've heard also, elizabeth, sometimes if you do it over the phone, you give all your personal information over the phone, you speak with an operator. that operatener turn has to put
it all into the computer system. the operator has trouble getting it into the system. >> right. i myself have had trouble when i called add operator and asked them to do something for me. she was so sweet and spent like 20 minutes and said i'm so sorry, i can't make this work. they at least i think the may possibly have a better chance of making it work than you will. if you want to get this done, it's probably worth the phone call. >> what about kathleen sebelius scheduled to testify wednesday before a key house committee. they're going to grill her i um. this latest website of malfunction is certainly not going to make it easier for her. >> absolutely it's not. my guess is she'll say something like, this was a verizon problem, this wasn't our problem. it affected more web sites than just ours. still i think what the public takes away from it is the site hasn't worked well and continues not to work well. >> elizabeth cohen, more on the situation room, as well. thank you. >>. the chairman of the house intelligence committee is
sounding the alarm about the security of that website. republican congressman mike roger told our candy crowley the site is vulnerable to cyber attacks and as a the contractors in charge of building the site may have to revamp it completely. >> they do not have an overarching solid cyber security plan to revent the loss of private information. i'm even more concerned today than was last week. i know that they've called in another private entity to try to help with the security of it. the problem is, they may have to redesign the entire system. the way the system is designed, it is not secure. >> not encouraging words from mike rogers. the obama administration says the site does not store or retain private information but rogers says there is active collection and storing of consumer information. another headache right there a lone republican says he will now join house democrated to pass comprehensive immigration reform
this year. my sbchb with the california republican congressman jeff deny nam, that's right ahead. later, cnn's interview today with the former vice president dick cheney. cheney says edward snowden is "a traitor." plain and simple. my asthma's under control. i don't miss out... you sat out most of our game yesterday! asthma doesn't affect my job... you were out sick last week. my asthma doesn't bother my family... you coughed all through our date night! i hardly use my rescue inhaler at all. what did you say? how about - every day? coping with asthma isn't controlling it. test your level of control at, then talk to your doctor. there may be more you could do for your asthma.
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soon, the world's most intelligent servers, designed by hp, will give ups over twice the performance, using forty percent less energy. multiply that across over a thousand locations, and they'll provide the same benefit to the environment as over 60,000 trees. that's a trend we can all get behind. that soda breaks down tooth enamel. thankfully, she uses act restoring mouthwash. it rebuilds tooth enamel, making your teeth two times stronger. act. smile strong. immigration reform is certainly one of the president's top priorities for action by the end of this year. the democrat-controlled senate passed a bipartisan measure in june to allow some of the 11 million undocumented people living in the united states eventually to have a pathway to
citizenship but the bill is stalled right now in the republican-controlled house of representatives. republican congressman jeff denham of california has broken ranks with his fellow republicans say he will vote with the democrats if the bill comes to the floor. he's joining us to explain his decision. congressman, thanks for coming in. >> it's good to be with you again. >> tell us why you decided to break with your other republican colleagues and side with the democrats when it comes to a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. >> look, i don't believe it is as breaking ranks. i believe this is to focus the nation and focus the house on getting real reform done this year, whether it's a top to bottom approach with a number of republican bills that have already passed through committee or more of a xrinsive approach, my focus is making sure we have a solution done this year. >> are you the first republican to take this position to side
with the democrats on this issue, as far as you know? >> i am because i don't look at this as a republican or democrat issue. this is an american issue that can help solve our economy, one that affects not only my community in california but across our entire nation. so we've got to get something done. i'm going to be a leader that hopes to get both parties together. i'm the first but i expect to see many other republicans signing on soon. >> do you think that the speaker will allow the senate-passed version which had strong bipartisan support, a lot of republicans and democrats obviously voted for it, to come up for a clean vote in the house of representatives even if a majority of republicans are not in favor of it in. >> no, the speaker has been very clear as well as the conference has been very clear that we will not have a vote on the senate bill. which is why this new bill is so important. the biggest issue the republicans had and actually even democrats had is the border security piece. we have now added the republican
version to this bill that will addresses that border cure the with real metrics guaranteeing that we have a solid 90%, over 90% success rate before we even implement the rest of this. so think this is a good bipartisan solution. now it's time to get republicans to sign on board, as well. >> do you believe the speaker will allow this version to come up for a vote? >> i don't know. it's not a discussion we have had yet. i let leadership know i am signing on to this bill and actively going to pursue other republicans and ask them to sign on board, as well. whether or not this gets a vote this year i think is remains to be seen. my job as a member of the house is to support the things that i feel are important, not only to my community but important for the nation. this is one of those issues. so the more that we can focus attention on this, i think we'll help the overall debt to getting a full top to bottom approach onto the floor.
>> realistically, congressman, how many republicans do you think you can bring over to your side? >> you know there have been a large number of republicans that have been out there out front talking about an earned path to citizenship. i think if you're talking about an earned path to citizenship, your only concern is making sure that the border security piece is strong. and that's exactly what we have in the mccaul bill that has now been added to some of the senate versions. so i'm confident we're going toet go the a huge number of republican has come out in support of this. you know the ultimate number i think remains to be defined. >> would you -- we'll wrap it up, congressman, describe for our viewers what the process would be for the at least a huge number of these 11 million i lee immigrants eventually to become citizens of the united states? what would they have to do, how long would it take? >> you know, actually, it's a very difficult process. first of all, we need to i can ma sure we guarantee that the
border is secure. that is in this bill. secondly, just the earned pathway to citizenship to file as that registered provisional status, rpi status is the first step. you've got to pass a background check. you have to pay fines, pay taxes, speak english. those are just the first steps. so that is a big jump on its own. then you go through a four-year process. i pay more fees, more back taxes. just to get the second phase of this. it's a ten-year process just to become a legal permanent resident if that individual chooses so. after three more years, so after a 13-year process, then you can file for citizenship. that would be the earliest way. one amendment though, i have negotiated into this bill my enlist act. i served with a lot of immigrants in the military through desert storm and through somalia. i just very strongly believe that immigrants that want to be our country should have the quickest pathway 0 citizenship
and that's exactly what my amendment does. >> jeff denham is the republican congressman from california. thanks for coming in. >> wolf, good to talk to you again. thank you. >> thank you. the former president big clinton is on the campaign trail today, this time in virginia lending support to a close friend running for governor. we're taking a closer look at that race and how the 2016 presidential race potentially could be shaping up. that's next.
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jay carney strongly drending the nsa surveilance program. listen to this. >> the president has directed us to review our surveilance capabilities. we've talked a little bit about this and the president certainly has, but it's good in the context of some of the stories that we've seen of late to remember that the president called for a review earlier in this summer. this much review is being led by the white house and it includes agencies from across the government. there are also important efforts underway that will enable others to review how we strike the right balance including the review group on intelligence and communications technology and the privacy and civil liberties oversight board. our review is looking across the board at our intelligence gathering to ensure that was as we gather intelligence, we are properly accounting for both the security of citizens and our allies and the privacy concerns shared by americans and citizens around the world.
we also need to ensure that our intelligence resources are most effectively supporting our foreign policy and national security objectives that we are more effectively weighing the risks and rewards of our activities that we are focused above all on threats to the american people. we need to ensure are collecting information not just because we can but because we should. because we need it for our security. so again, i won't go on too long. i think it's important top context you'llize some of these revelations to look at what the administration is doing to review our intelligence activities and to look at how we balance the need for security in this completely transformed world that we live in because of the technology advances that have occurred. and then against, as i said
earlier, the clear and real privacy concerns that americans and people around the world share. >> you just mentioned that it's important for us to make sure that our intelligence gathering above all is about protecting american security and you and the president in the past have talked about the nsa really being focused on things like terrorism, proliferation of wmds. can au sure our allies that the u.s. is not using the nsa's intelligence capabilities to promote american economic interests? >> we do not use our intelligence capabilities for ha purpose. we use it for security purposes. and first of all, and second of all, it's very important to recall too, that we have extraordinarily strong and important intelligence and security relationships with our allies. and that those relationships are vital to help keep americans safe, to help keep americans safe abroad and to help keep our
allies safe. and that kind of relationship, those kinds of relationships are key to the security of this nation and of our allies. so again, we're conducting a review. we are mindful that some of these disclosures have caused tension in our relationships. we deal with those issues through diplomatic channels. and we are in direct communication with a number of countries on these matters. the president is very serious about, as you heard him say, in august about insuring that this review take place, that we strike that balance, that we remember that our intelligence services and the people in them do extraordinary work to keep us safe every day and that we're one attack away from assessments
about what went wrong in our intelligence capes and collections. so we need to remember that the gathering occurs for a purpose. and that's why the review has to look at that issue that the president has identified that just because we've made these extraordinary technological advances that give us greater capacities, we need to make sure we're collecting intelligence in a way that advances our security needs and that we don't just do it because we can be. >> jay on saturday, secretary sebelius head up the data services hub as an example of what was working, as well. on sunday the data hub crashed and took down the entire enrollment functionality with it. with new major technical problems continuing to emerge, how should americans be confident that these problems will be fix as you've said, by the end of november.
>> as you know, vera zon successfully resolved the issue overnight and as of 7:00 a.m. east iran time this morning, the data services hub was fully operational. the team continued trouble shooting the issue with the online creation account process. our account creation process and has now opened the online application and enrollment tools back up to consume ares. this was the host for the site that had troubles that led to the site shutting down. it is now up and running again. >> reporter: but if there are new problems that are emerging, separate from what we had already learned about in the first few weeks, doesn't that make it more likely that this all won't be able to be resolved in the time line you set forth? >> no, look, we have several teams, many teams of highly qualified experts addressing the identified and isolated problems
that do exist and have existed with the website. and they are fixing them incrementally as jeff zients and others have talked about. that work continues and improvements are happening every day. and the consumer experience on the website will have continue to improve every day. incrementally as those changes are made. more changes have taken place that make the website more efficient and effective for consumers as we speak. the separate issue of the essentially the company that hosts the site having a trouble that caused it to shut down is not linked to the troubles that we are identifying and isolating and working on and fixing. so you know, we're glad to see that the site is up and running that the issue vanderzee been resolved and we're obviously continuing the work of making improvements to the site as we make it more apparent to americans across the country that there are four ways pore them to get information, four
ways for them to signed up and for ways for them to enroll. that's in addition to online, by phone, in. ern and by mail. this is work as we've said that comes about because the website. >> october 1st on has not functioned at a level that meets the president's standards, has not functioned at the level that would meet the secretary's standards. therefore, we have you know, taken all these efforts to make the necessary improvements so that we can improve this experience. what's important to remember is from day one, americans have been able to get information and have been able to sign up and have been able to enroll. because in the end, this isn't about a website. it's about make sure that millions of americans have access to affordable health insurance, many of them for the first time. >> yes? >> thank you, jay. >> the report that josh mentioned citing officials made it sound as if the program had
been under way for a number of years and that when the president learned about it, he ordered it stopped. does the president continue 0 have full confidence in general alexander to administer security? >> the president has full confidence in general alexander and the leadership at the nsa and in the rank and file at the nsa who do extraordinary work on behalf of every american citizen and on behalf of our allies and keeping them safe. the issues that are part of the review look at how we can better balance our security needs and the security needs of our allies against the real privacy concerns ha we all share. and as i noted at the top, you know, there has been extraordinary change technological change in the last ten, 20 years but certainly in the last 10 or so years since
9/11 that has affected i mean the whole world in the way that we transmit and gather information. and that includes -- that has brought about changes in the way and developments in the way we gather intelligence and changes in the way that those in the world who want to do harm to americans and do harm to our allies operate. so that has meant that we've had to adapt. and as we've adapted, and as we adapt, we need to make sure as the president is insisting that we are keeping a balance that protects our security and takes into account our real privacy concerns. >> as the i'm sure i don't have to tell you, revelations of had eavesdropping or alleged eavesdropping have caused damage with our allies. what would you expect the reyou voos to be done and would you expect them to include any scaling back of monitoring of
phone conversations by our friends? >> the entire review that is being led by the white house will be completed by the end of the year. there are other efforts, as you know, under way by the review group on intelligence and communications technology as well as the privacy and civil liberties oversight board. infer tandem, the president also announced that the administration will work with congress to pursue appropriate refors of section 215 of the patriot act. and after having a dialogue with members of congress and civil libertarians the president believes there already steps that can be taken to give the american people confidence that there are additional safeguards against abuse of these programs, for example, steps could be taken put in place greater oversight, greater transparency, as well as constraints on the use of this authority. . the administration is also working with congress to improve the public's confidence in the oversight conducted by the foreign intelligence surveilance
court. moreover, the president has directed the intelligence community to make public as much information about these programs as possible. mindful of the fact that these are very sensitive security programs, the administration has declassified unprecedented information about the activities of the nsa, and we are continuing to do so. so there are a number of efforts under way that are designed to increase transparency, to work with congress to look at reforms to the patriot act, to look at ways that we can increase oversight and increase constraints on the authorities provided by these programs. separately, there are ways you know, there's a review under way that will look at among other issues some of the very spec things with regards to intelligence gathering including matters that deal with heads of state and other governments. so these are all important issues. you've heard the president talk about them and i think reflect
in what he said. the fact that they're important in his view and that we need to take these steps. when it comes to the relationship that we have with various allies, this is obviously something that has been of concern and are working to address those concerns diplomatically through diplomacy channels and also in the way that we're talking about these issues now. >> let me follow up. when you say constraints, what do you mean? >> i'm saying that the programs are legal, obviously, through the patriot act. but that in these reviews you know that are under way, the president has talked about the fact that we could take steps perhaps to put in place greater oversight and transparency and constraints on the use of this authority. so ways to ensure that the program's both achieve what they were designed to achieve in terms of gathering intelligence that goes to the heart of
protecting the united states and our people and our allies but does so in a way that strikes a balance when comes to matters of privacy and the other concerns that we share with americans and others around the world. >> jay, back in september in stock hoernlgs the president said i can give an shurns to the publics in europe and around the world that we're not snooping at people's e-mails or listening to their phone calls. presumably that would include the german chancellor. is that statement still operative? >> what the president said was true and what i can tell you is what i've just said when it comes to the questions questions about communications involving chancellor merkel, the fact we do not and will not monitor those communications. and the broader fact that we are engaged in a review that will look at that issue and other issues through the lens of making sure that we are focused
on using the tools available to us to gather intelligence that we need not just gather intelligence because we can. >> because earlier in the summer, he was sort of making the distinction about u.s. persons. >> i think you're conflating a couple of programs when it comes to e-mails. there are different programs and metadata programs and there's -- >> you said we're not listening in on your phone calls and i can assure you if you're a u.s. person we're not listening in on your phone calls. i have the exact quotes. >> i'm not sure what question you're asking because when it comes to matters of section 215 and 202, they're very zing when it comes to metadata versus other kinds of collection. they're distinct. the president in all he has said about this issue not just since the disclosures but even before them reflects his commitment to ensuring that we do everything we have to do within the law to keep america safe, keep americans safe and keep our
allies safe but that we do so in a way that reflects the need to find balance and to -- that can arizes this sincere security, i mean rather privacy concerns that americans have and that others have around the world. >> and the "wall street journal" article that has been mentioned in this briefing, the main thrust of it is that the president was unaware that you this kind you have surveilance was going on of foreign leaders in the interview that the president gave with speaking of conflating, i'm going to be grouping a couple of things. in the interview with sanjay gupta, kathleen sebelius said the president was not aware of the problems with the website before it launched october 1st. even back whether he the irs was at issue in may 13th, the targeting of political groups the president at that time said he learned about that through news reports. is there a concern in the white house of the administration that
the president is being kept in the dark on some of these issues? >> it's certainly true that you've conflated a bunch of disparate issues. the fact of the matter is that the president believes that the work being done by our intelligence services is important. and that it is focused on when it comes to the nsa gathering for intelligence that is designed to help keep americans safe as well as our allies. the president has also initiate aid review because he believes that we need to look at the fact that the world has changed so much in the last ten years in terms of the technological innovations that we've seen and the way that we communicate and we -- and the way our enemies communicate as well as the capacities and tools we have available to us when it comes to gathering intelligence and 0
basically run a review that looks at all of those issues and ensures two things, one that we're -- that our programs are designed to gather the intelligence that we need in order to protect ourselves and our allies and that we doing so mindful of the privacy concerns ta we all share. so. >> is the president learning about the full scope of say the surveilance issues? obviously it seems he's. >> i'm not going to get into individual reports about specific programs. there is -- there home run several reviews under way. there's one being run by the white house. and when those reviews are complete, we will be able to share more information with you. and provide a little more detail about the decisions that the president will make after the review is completed. i can say as this review has been undertaken, some decisions have been made even as the review has been under way and not completed. and those decisions are being
made because to improve and to improve our intelligence gathering operations in a way that is consistent with the balance the president believes is necessary to strike. >> republican critics are making the case though that the president appears to be in the dark before some pretty significant stories that are swirling around this white house. >> well, republican critics say a lot of things, jim. john. >> jay, let me try more broadly. >> so there you see the white house press secretary jay carney strongly defending the nsa surveilance program. if you read between the lines, he wasn't going to confirm the u.s. has been spying on cellphones of angela merkel, the chancellor of germany or other allied leaders but did repeatedly say and this is a relatively new line, there's a whole new technology of trying to prevent terrorism and the u.s. has a responsibility to protect the american people and he kept saying america's allies.
the bottom line is -- it's at least in part designed to help them because the u.s. presumably has a better intelligence capability and maybe they can find out about some sort of loom terrorist plot before the respective governments can. he kept talking about the new technology that is available right now. the u.s. needs to protect the american people and america's allies. he kept saying america's allies over and over again. on the other big subject of the day, the latest problems involving the obama care website. he did read that statement that the department of health and human services just released a statement saying they've fixed that latest problem which effectively shutdown the entire system overnight. a spokeswoman for hhs saying verizon tara mark successfully resolved the issue with the
network component overnight. as of this morning, the data services hub was fully operational. the technical team continued trouble shooting one issue with the online account creation process in the application and has now opened the enrollment tools back up to consumers. that statement from the department of health and human services. officials do say that there may still be some problems. users without an account may experience a wait time online. while we continue to test this particular part of the system, we believe we will be able to resolve it by the end of the day to prevent any online wait times. so there's a lot going on. lots to dissect. gloria borger is standing by. we'll discuss with her when we come back. i'm angela, and i didn't think i could quit smoking
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all right. just into cnn, we're getting this from penn state university. penn state will pay theairery sandusky victims $59.7 million. penn state university officials have announced they've reached a settlement with 26 of sandusky's victims for nearly $60 million. of the 26 settlements, 23 are fully signed, three are agreed in principle with final documentation according to the statement expected within the next few weeks. that's a dramatic development. the figure will be reflected by the way in the university's
audited financial statements for the year that ends june 30th -- that ended june 30th, 2013. nearly $60 million goes to 26 of jerry sandusky's victims. let's get back to the controversy over the nsa spy targets. "the wall street journal" as you know has been reporting that president obama wasn't briefed on specific efforts to listen in on world leaders. that includes the german chancellor angela merkel among others, key ally of the united states whose cell phone was reportedly tap. after a review earlier this year, those leaders were taken off the watch list according to the report. rememberer i last week in an interview with dr. sanjay go up tark the hhs secretary, kathleen sebelius admitted that the president wasn't told there were were website problems on that front a few days before the disastrous roll out of the website. the president has been
consistent and begins with the words, the buck stops with him. >> ultimately the buck stops with me. when i'm president, i'm responsible for a whole bunch of stuff that is done, and that's the nature of the game. as harry truman says, the buck stops with you. >> what i continue to believe is that ultimately the buck stops with me. i'm the president and the buck stops with me. i am less interested in passing out blame than i am in learning from and correcting these mistakes to make us safer. for ultimately the buck stops with me. >> we are responsible though. the buck stops with me. i won't have my vice president engineering my foreign policy for me. the buck will stop with me because i'll be the president. >> i will be responsible for the vision that this team carries out. so as harry truman, the buck will stop with me. >> gloria borger is here. gloria, so the president is under a lot of pressure right now. >> yeah.
>> apparently didn't know about angela america's cell phone if you believe this latest report. he didn't know there were significant problems before october 1st rollout of the obama care website but he has often said the buck stops with him. >> i think the buck does stop with him. i think there are two different things here. the website is one thing. and i was talking to senior administration official who sort of explained to me what we all know that many times the president is the last to know things because there's a huge funnel of things that come into the white house. the job of the white house chief of staff and senior advisors to decide just what gets to the president's deck and what does not get to his desk. a lot of things don't even get to the white house. when it came to the web site, the question is, what did kathleen sebelius know? what got to her desk? you might be surprised to know a lot of times when things go wrong in government, people actually cover it up, this he don't tell the truth to
supervisors. kathleen sebelius is a former governor. one would assume if she knew how badly things were going, she might have put the kibosh on it. this is sometimes how badly government, would. people cover up things that are going badly. i have a hard time believing the president didn't ask how is the rollout going. >> this is the most important achievement of his presidency. you would think before the october 1st roll out, he would call in sebelius and say is everything ready to go. have we tested out thoroughly, the website, the program, all the connecteds. he would have presumably done that. >> of course. have you ever heard of people when things aren't going very well sort of hiding it from the boss? >> that's not doing the boss a favor. >> of course not. they may have been hiding it from sebelius. the question is, what does the president know, how accurate is the information. if sebelius didn't have accurate
information, if she was misinformed, then it's not going to go up that tree. now, the question on the nsa surveilance and whether the president of the united states should know that his surveilance agency was tapping the phone of angela merkel is a whole other story. some people at the nsa say that's just another data point. the president doesn't have to know all of those details. however, wolf, these are world leaders with whom you deal every day. he had may not have gotten a lot of information out of her phone tap, okay? but i would argue that if the president didn't know then somebody at the nsa should have told him that piece of information. >> if he didn't know about that. >> he may be asking why he didn't know. >> he should have known there's problems with the website. if he didn't know that there was a blunder there, a major blund, and the president should understandably be very, very upset and maybe he's probably
saying to himself, maybe i should have been more aggressive in questioning my own aides. >> you know what's interesting here? you may be right. he should have been more assertive. this former senior administration official said to me the sad part about all of this is, if the president were to try and find out why he didn't know, might never get a straight answer to that question particularly regarding the website. >> these kinds you have questions the president should know. >> just ahead, we'll take a look at another relationship, the relationship between the former president george w. bush and the former vice president dick cheney. peter baker the author of an excellent new book "days of fire," is standing by live. humans. even when we cross our "ts" and dot our "i's", we still run into problems. that's why liberty mutual insurance offers accident forgiveness with our auto policies.
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cheney. he addressed a wide range of issues with jake from nsa spying to on allies to a near fatal heart attack -- heart attacks, i should say. peter baker covered the cheney white house for the washington post and in"new york times." this brand new book is entitled "days of fire" and explores the controversial relationship between dick cheney and then president bush. why did you decide to write this book? >> this is a very interesting relationship. we only got to the surface of it, and to go back and research it for a book unveiled all sorts of surprises. it turns out it was a much more shakespearean tale than we knew at the time. >> did you know his own book oin his heart would be coming out at the same time? >> i knew it was coming out in october. i didn't know it was coming out
the same day. >> was your publish ee eer anxio have them come out at the same time. >> they didn't focus on it, but it raises the profile, and there was a lot of questions for dick cheney answered on cnn and other places. >> i thought your book was terrific and went back to dick cheney when he was a member of the house of representatives and then when he was defense secretary and then vice president of the united states. the relationship that ended on a really sour note, when he left office and bush left office. not just because of the that bush refused to give scooter libby that pardon. >> by that point, they had drifted apart in their view of what they should be doing in the white house. cheney was focused on protecting the country, and he saw bush focusing on diplomacy, shaving off the edges of the policies they had put in place. the auto bailout, gay rights,
gun rights, donald rumsfeld. >> how is the relationship today? do you sense these two guys even talk to each other? >> i don't think they talk a lot. they have a very proper relationship. they respect each other, but they're not close. tay don't go hunting and fishing together. they were together at the library opening in april. he had gracious words for vice president cheney, but cheney was not part of the program. hao was not given a speaking pran. you saw how president bush is presenting his presidency. pictures of laurie bush and the kids, the dogs, but not a lot of cheney. >> did he cooperate with the book? >> president bush chose not to participate, but cheney gave interviews and 265 people also gave interviews. >> did he had regrets about the intelligence blunders that led to the war? >> he's sorry that it happened, but he believes osama bin laden
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and could save you in out-of-pocket medical costs. call now to request your free decision guide. and learn more about the kinds of plans that will be here for you now -- and down the road. i have a lifetime of experience. so i know how important that is. few vice presidents have wields as much power behind the scenes as dick cheney. jake tapper sat down with the former vice president earlier today in a one-on-one. how did it go? >> i think it went well. i asked him about the latest revelations about the nsa spying scandal right off the bat. >> all this news that the u.s. conducted surveillance on our own allies, some of the documents posted by or leaked by edward snowden to the media indicate these programs started in 2002. why spy on an ally?
>> jake, if there were such a program, it would be classified and i couldn't talk about it, it would be totally appropriate, and i haven't been in the loop now for more than four years. it's one of those subjects i couldn't discuss. >> without getting specific, on a theoretical basis, what is the interest of the united states on conducting surveillance on a country who is a clear ally of the united states? >> i've got to go with the answer i have given you. let me say this, we do have a fantastic intelligence capability worldwide against all kinds of potential issues and concerns. we are vulnerable, as was shown on 9/11. and you never know what you're going to need when you need it. the fact is we do collect a lot of intelligence. when without speaking about any particularly target or group of targets, that intelligence
capability is important to the united states of our conduct of intelligence policy, for economic matters, and i am a strong supporter of it. >> do you think the snowden leaks have hurt america's ability to defend itself? >> i do. i think he's a traitor. i hope we can catch him at some point and he receives the justice he deserves. >> of course, wolf, we also asked him about his book "heart." which details his five heart attacks. it's a medical odyssey, as it says right there. i ask him how many times he think he's cheated death. we talked about the deficit, his daughter's senate campaign in wyoming, and much, much more. >> he's pretty blunt. still very blunt nowadays. he hasn't changed on that front as well. >> no, and buried in his refusal to talk about the nsa spying program, he was very clear that he's not going to acknowledge
anyone, but buried in the answer, you heard him say you never know what you're going to need when you need it and it's enormously important to the u.s. to conduct foreign policy matters. that's your answer. >> that heart transplant really seems to have worked. he looks pretty good. >> and his doctor told me that he was hours away from death. hours, literally hours away. >> when he had the transplant? >> now, in 2010 when he had this major procedure. and he had this very odd moment where he woke up after being sedated and his family had been terrified. he had been dreaming he was in northern italy. he goes into detail on that in the book and in the interview. >> amazing medical story in it book. we'll be watching. >> well written, also. very well written. >> who helped him write it? >> i think liz cheney. >> a good writer. >> apparently. >> don't forget, jake's full interview with dick cheney later today on "the lead."
4:00 p.m. eastern, only here on cnn. that's it for me. thanks very much for watching. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room." ne newsroom continues right now with brooke baldwin. >> first the obama care website, and now spying on world leaders. if it's true that president obama didn't know about all these issues in his administration until they blow up, we're asking why the heck not. i'm brooke baldwin. the news is now. four inmates on the run after an escape in the shower. verirginity for sale. the alleged saler, a mother. >> plus, julianne huff apologized for hthis